MANILA (2ND UPDATE) — The Supreme Court, voting 15-0, has disbarred Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon for cursing and uttering profane language against journalist Raissa Robles in a viral video.
Gadon was recently appointed presidential adviser on poverty alleviation.
In a press statement, the SC Public Information Office said the High Court voted 15-0 to disbar Gadon, saying it found the subject video clip "indisputably scandalous that it discredits the legal profession."
Gadon has been previously convicted by the SC and suspended from the practice of law for 3 months for using offensive and intemperate language.
There are 6 other administrative cases pending before the Office of the Bar Confidant against Gadon, and 4 before the Commission on Bar Discipline and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
In a statement, Gadon said he will file a motion for reconsideration "on the ground that the penalty is too harsh for the alleged cause which was my outburst against a reporter who was blatantly spreading lies against President [Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr.] during the campaign period intended to fool the public on issues intended to cause damage to the candidacy of Pres Ferdinand Marcos Jr."
"I will treat this matter as a personal concern as it will not also affect my commitment to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to help his administration achieve its goals and implement its programs to serve the public particularly on the aspect of poverty alleviation."
Gadon said his new position as presidential adviser on poverty alleviation does not require lawyering "hence my suspension and disbarment have no effect on my appointment."
He added he will not entertain questions about the Supreme Court decision being subjudice.
In a statement, Malacañang backed Gadon and said he would still continue as the Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation.
"He will continue on his new role as Presidential Adviser on Poverty Alleviation as there are urgent matters that need to be done in the President's anti-poverty programs. The President believes he will do a good job," Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said.
Meanwhile, Robles thanked the Supreme Court for the unilateral action, saying it showed "independence of mind."
She said she would still pursue her Safe Spaces Act and cyber libel cases — which were thrown out by a Quezon City prosecutor in 2022 — against Gadon "because these are battles for keeping women safe online and for journalists pursuing the truth.
"I would like to appeal to legal scholars and lawmakers to look at the grounds for why my cases were thrown out TWICE by the QC prosecutor, whether these grounds are sound and legally tenable or whether these grounds render both laws inutile and unusable," Robles said.
"I have kept my silence on my cases for over a year - something quite difficult for a journalist - but I understand the legal processes have to take due course and I must respect them," she added.